They call for greater transparency in the workplace
To mark International Women’s Day (IWD), PwC issued the report – Time to talk: what has to change for women at work – reveals that women are confident, ambitious and ready for what’s next, but many don’t trust what their employers are telling them about career development and promotion; or what helps or hurts their career.
The report surveyed over 3,600 professional women (aged 28-40) across 27 industry sectors and from over 60 countries worldwide.
Although CEOs recognise the importance of being transparent about their diversity and inclusion programmes to build trust, the message isn’t universal and strong enough. 45% of women believe an employee’s diversity status (gender, ethnicity, age, sexual preference) can be a barrier to career progression in their organisation, and only 51% of women agree that employers are doing enough to progress gender diversity.
The motherhood and flexibility penalty
Almost all women said working in a job they enjoy (97%) and having flexibility to balance the demands of their career and personal/family life (95%) was important to them. Getting to the top of their career is important to 75% of women, while 82% are confident in their ability to fulfil their career aspirations.
What needs to change
The report puts forward three essential elements that leaders must focus on to help women advance their career:
- Transparency and trust: greater transparency won’t only benefit women, it will foster a more inclusive environment which gives women and men greater opportunities to fulfil their potential.
- Strategic support: women need dedicated sponsors and role models of both genders– lack of support from male colleagues will stall progress. This blend of workplace and personal support will also work to underpin the self-advocacy women need to advance and succeed.
- Life, family care and work: employers need to rethink their approach to helping talent balance work, life, parenthood and family care by providing organisational solutions that work. Employers must recognise that everyone is making flexibility demands –
it’s not a life-stage or gender-only issue – and help and encourage their people to take advantage of the programmes in place.